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Star Chamber (PRO STAC8/163/9 Rich Harlakenden v Wm Eedies et al)

10.7.4Jas1 (Thursday 10 July 1606)

document 19100408

answers of Wm Strutte Robt Peartree Jn Sillitoe and Dan Rande say that the bill of complaint was false and slanderous set forth maliciously to put them to great charges Wm Strutte and Robt Peartree say that the bill is true about the watermill being the earl of Oxford's and parcels and granted it by lease to Hen Pullen on 17.5.27Eliz1 for twenty one years 40s4d per annum and Wm Strutte says that eight years ago Hen Pullen of Colne Engaine made his will and bequeathed the lease to Wm Eedies or his wife Mary and he entered and was possessed accordingly and on 28.1.44Eliz1 sold the lease unto the defendant for the watermill and the defendant became bound for 40li for the mill and Wm Strutte entered the mill accordingly and by indenture of 12.11.44Eliz1 he devised and let the mill to Sam Diglette miller with fishing permission and parcels except half of the fish from 15.11.44Eliz1 for three years and a half at 20li# per annum at 15.5. and 15.11. or within fourteen days except the second payment which must be on the very day Sam Diglett to pay one peck of wheat every week to Wm Eedies if it were demanded and to maintain the premises and he entered on the last day of the last half year Wm Strutte peacefully went to the mill and demanded the rent due to him which was not paid and the next day Strutte seeing the said Jn Cooper in the said bill and other servants in the mill with pikes and staves and fearing that they were going to beat and wound him if he should ask for rent he required the constables Robt Peartree and Jn Hunwicke constable to go to the mill to see the peace kept they went without weapons and he again peaceably demanded his rent then he would have entered peaceably but seeing the said Jn Cooper and other servants being arrayed with bills pikes staves pitchforks and other weapons would not suffer him to do so alleging that the lease ran until the 17.5. being a saturday whereupon he and the two constables quietly departed on 17.5. at one pm he asked Robt Peartree to go with him again to see the peace kept without weapons and they found Diglette leaning over the hatch of the millhouse and Wm Strutte went alone to the hatch and Diglette opened the hatch at Strutte's request and he entered he and Diglette quietly talked for fifteen minutes and then Strutte quietly put down the gate of the mill through which the water passed to drive the mill and claimed possession and Peartree said that then Diglette took up a crow of iron within the mill and offered to strike at the head of Strutte behind his head the said Peartree being outside the door of the mill then he stepped into the mill and stayed the blow and charged Diglette and all other persons within to keep the peace wherein the hurt was prevented after which Mary Eedies being great with child and bearing a young child in her arms came to the mill and quietly entered the door open and demanded of Diglette half a bushel of wheat then due her husband and at her entrance or shortly after Diglette did violently assault her in such a way to strike up the legs of the said Mary so that she had a violent fall that caused the child in her womb to miscarry and she is otherwise grievously spoiled and the child in her arms by the fall was laid for dead and in danger never to recover wherewith she cried out "murther" which cry the defendants think was heard in the street so came to her husband's hearing he came to the mill without weapons and finding the door shut he opened it and entered saying "what have you murdered my wife" or the like words and as soon as he entered Jn Cooper servant did assault him and thrust at him with a pitchfork which he had in his hand Eedies put his hand to fend off the blow and was wounded and the constable Peartree by his presence parted that second violence and in a short time Strutte and Peartree departed quietly and left Eedies and his wife in the millhouse they stayed all that saturday night and Dan Rande and Jn Sillitoe say that hearing that Eedies and wife were in possession of the mill and very sore hurt and evilly treated by the complainant's servants on 18.5. in peaceable manner in love and charity without weapons only to visit and comfort them went to millhouse and entered quietly there were no other persons there only Eedies and his wife but after a short while Jn Cooper the complainant's servant entered and Mary Eedies offered him and he in turn thrust at her with such violence with a pitchfork and Sillitoe with his hand put by the thrust and ran the pitchfork into a post Sillitoe then laid hold on the pitchfork Cooper ran away and after he had gone after a short while Rande and Sillitoe quietly departed Eedies and wife and three small children were left in the millhouse they then confirm what they have already stated that the earl of Oxford had let the mill to Hen Pullen etc and ask to be exonerated from all charges